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Marketing a Product -VS -Marketing a Service

EranAvitalEranAvital subscriber Posts: 11
edited March 2007 in Marketing
Is there is a difference when it comes to marketing a product from marketing a service online?


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    InactiveMemberInactiveMember subscriber Posts: 12
    Services are a Level III offering. Products are a Level I offering. This site has some interesting information on strategy levels. You might have to read the information several times but it`s worth it.
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    ChuckChuck subscriber Posts: 6
    Fundamentally there`s not a difference when it comes to overall marketing - when it comes right down to it, if your business is service-based, the services you provide are essentially your "products", even if there`s not something you can hold in your hands and demo.
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    InactiveMemberInactiveMember subscriber Posts: 12
    Abstract services, like consulting services related to strategy, are more difficult to market than a product that "does something" unless you communicate very clearly. Trying to sell "strategy consulting" is like selling rocks. Why do I need to buy a rock? Yet De Beers does a great job selling rocks because they`re selling something very specific.
    This depends a lot on the level of knowledge and area of expertise of the members of the market. EX: It`s a lot easier to sell strategy consulting to a CEO than a small business owner. It`s also a lot easier to sell diamonds to a prospective groom than to a guy with a girlfriend.
    Abstraction, indirection ...
    These are about the degree of coupling between two ideas. Loose coupling is highly abstract and tight coupling is less abstract. So, marketing abstract products is fine, but your marketing communications still have to be very specific. If you sell management consulting, you really have to dig deep and figure out how to very specifically communicate what you offer, while avoiding cliches.
    This is really a question of positioning strategy as well. Abtract products, like services, can be hard to position in the mind. Yet with the right communication strategy you can position abstract services ... generally by directly linking the service with a benefit, relative to other options available.
    Gosh, I hope this makes sense!
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    MiserAdMiserAd subscriber Posts: 2
    There is quite a difference.  Products are something tangible that customers can physically see the benefits and try the product before purchase.  Services, on the other hand, are intangible.  This means that the real decision making process is at the point of service.  Meaning, when you market a service, you are basically selling trust and promises.  If your good at that you will get the sale, but your point of service (when the service is provided) is when the customer will ultimately make up his mind.  There are some ways to help "tangiblize" your intangible service though.
    In Marketing we all know the 4 P`s (product, price, promotion, and placement).  But when you market a service you have to add 3 more P`s.

    Processes- your operations will either fail to meet or exceed the customers expectations.
    Physical Attractiveness- If your customer comes to your location for the service to be provided, or if you are the only thing the customer sees, then you need to provide a certain level of physical attractiveness.  This could be your office architecture and design, or the clothes that you wear.
    People- Your customer service representatives, receptionist, service providers, all need to be professional and exude the branding message that you want to portray.
    Marketing a service is a tough thing to do, but with the right mentality, it can be done!
    Good Luck!
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